Scientific Research and Robotics
The Solomon Wong Tech Cube has created possibilities for cross-divisional collaboration from KA-12 that were not practical or possible before. Robotics, computer science and technology teachers from all divisions are now located in the same building, making it easier to see each other’s work, share ideas, and collaborate. The result of this is that TAS will now be able to have a comprehensive KA-12 Tech Cube program unlike anything else in the world. Students will start their engineering and design education in kindergarten as just the first step in a continuous, intentionally-designed program that continues every year until senior year.
Another important benefit of sharing one physical space is that cross-divisional student mentor/mentee relationships can begin to flourish in ways they could not before. Older students are now mentoring younger students in various projects, and younger students are now able to tour exhibitions of older students’ work. Students of all divisions exhibit their work for students in other divisions to see. The Solomon Wong Tech Cube has already begun to develop a true sense of belonging to the TAS community that reaches between the divisions. Tech-savvy students are now able to envision themselves in different stages of the program looking into the future and empathize looking back.
Before the Solomon Wong Tech Cube was finished, the robotics and technology programs at TAS needed more space. All programs across all divisions reported extremely overcrowded work areas. Creative problem solving requires adequate physical space to make a mess and experiment. With several different floors to explore and create, the Tech Cube has completely remedied that problem.
Lastly, the Solomon Wong Tech Cube is quickly becoming an international hub for STEAM education. We have already hosted many prominent guests from the international community from Canada, Hawaii, and Australia. Every year, we host training sessions for local schools and teachers to learn about robotics and our unique approach to hands-on technology and engineering education. We also host robotics scrimmages for local schools to practice for competitions. This unique space will allow us to continue to explore new partnerships with schools and individuals from around the world.
- Every student in Grades KA-5 participates in five to six STEAM challenges a year. These challenges include engineering, robotics, 3D design, cardboard construction, coding, and independent design opportunities.
- Access to the tools at the Solomon Wong Tech Cube helped students in Middle School Art + Innovation realize 2D and 3D art projects using laser cutters and 3D printers.
- Additionally, the annual EXTREME STEAM event draws hundreds of students and families to our campus.
- Throughout the middle school robotics program, students engage in the engineering design process to identify problems, generate solutions, and to design, build, and improve upon their robots. Robotics is a required class in Grade 6 and optional in Grades 7 and 8.
- TAS middle school students have qualified for and attended VEX Robotics World Championship events.
- There have been even more STEAM opportunities added within the last year in the new Solomon Wong Tech Cube with a focus on engineering
- All Grade 7 students are involved in a synthetic biology experience hosted by our upper school iGEM team.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, Taipei American School students have achieved much in the areas of scientific research and robotics.
- Grand Award Winner at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (2017)
- In 2015 and 2017, the TAS iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) team won the Grand Prize at the Giant Jamboree.
- Only overseas school with three Regeneron (formerly Intel) Science Talent Search Scholars (2012, 2015, and 2017)
- TAS group projects have been published in the PLOS (Public Library of Science) iGEM 2016 and 2017 Collections. Student work from the Advanced Research in Nanotechnology class has been accepted to the ChemRxiv preprint server which is managed by the American Chemical Society and Royal Chemical Society. (2019)
- TAS Research in Physics students earned two gold and three silver medals at the Taiwan Young Physics Tournament (2017-2019); nine students were named to the All-Tournament Top 10 and nominated to the Taiwan National Team over the past three years.
- On-campus research laboratories include an atomic force, scanning electron and fluorescent microscopes, carbon nanotube furnace, and full genetic engineering and material science capabilities. Additional laboratories will be added between 2019-2021.
- TAS offers eight scientific research courses in state-of-the-art research facilities on campus. Particular focus is placed on synthetic biology and nanotechnology.
Robotics & Computer Science
- The TAS robotics team “Big Pasta” won First Place in an international Rube Goldberg Competition hosted by the University of Melbourne.
- A TAS FRC robotics team qualified for World Championships for the 5th year in a row and ranked 13th in their division. They took home a silver medal and received a “Creativity award” in Hawaii. The same team was awarded the “Chairman’s award” in Australia for STEM outreach in our community.
- A TAS Vex robotics team qualified for World Championships for the 8th year in a row and won the prestigious “Build award” at the World Championship for engineering quality. They also won first place at the Taoyuan regional, first place at the Manila regional, and first place at the Formosa regional.
- TAS students started over 20 new FRC teams all around Taiwan. They first designed a robot that could be built easily and inexpensively with parts ubiquitous in Taiwan. Using this design, the Taiwanese government bought enough parts for 22 new FRC teams. In August 2018, TAS students hosted an event in Taichung, Taiwan to train 22 local high schools to build these robots over a two day period. Seven of those teams qualified for the World Championship.
- A TAS student won the British Computer Society Machine Learning award with a project that was started in his Honors Artificial Intelligence Class.
- AP Computer Science scores were once again far above the world average. Our average score at TAS was 4.6, compared with the Taiwan average of 4.1 and the world average at 3.26.